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Woman refuses to share daughter's party with niece; says 'they can't afford it.' AITA?

Woman refuses to share daughter's party with niece; says 'they can't afford it.' AITA?


Happy Birthday to, well, not you.

A mom was fed up with her daughter having to share her birthday with her SIL's daughter, especially because she was the one who was paying. She thought that she had made herself clear, but when the day of the party came she found out that she was being accused of stealing a little girl's birthday party from her.

'AITA for not including my niece in my daughters birthday since her parents can't afford it?'


My (31f) daughter (8F) and my niece (8F) are born 10 days apart. Due to this ever since they were little my SIL (29F) has always pushed for them to have a 'shared' birthday party. When the girls were younger (1-4) we used to do shared birthday parties.

But my husband and I realized that we were always the ones to foot the bill for everything (food, decorations, location etc.). The girls also were complete opposites. My daughter has always been more of a tomboy, while my niece is SUPER girly.

When my husband and I told SIL and my brother that we won't be doing the shared birthday's anymore, they we really upset and it started a huge fight. They said they can't afford to throw a nice birthday for my niece but we can, so it makes sense that we pay for it since we're 'family'.

Yeah, not gonna fly with my husband and I. So we stuck by what we said and every since the girls have had separate birthday's. My daughter and my husband love watching Formula 1 together, and she wanted to have a Formula 1 themed birthday this year.

The weekend before the birthday we had a family dinner at my parents house. SIL, my brother and niece were present. My parents were asking the girls if they were excited for their upcoming birthday's, and if they were having parties this year.

My daughter told my parents she is having a Formula 1 themed party this year. SIL answered for my niece and said they're not going to have a party for her because thing's were tight. The conversation was left there.

Fast forward to this past weekend (daughters bday was on Saturday) we had the party and it was going great. The whole family was invited as usual, and everyone was having a great time until the cake.

I'm in the kitchen with my mom, MIL, SIL and a few other family friends talking. I pull the cake out to get it ready to bring out for everyone. SIL takes a look at the cake and looks confused.

SIL: 'is this the girls birthday cake?'

Me: 'what do you mean 'the girls'? the cake is for *daughters name*'

SIL: 'well I thought since I mentioned that thing's are tight this year, that you'd include *niece's name* in the birthday?'

Me: 'I understand your situation, but how come you never once mentioned this to me?'

SIL: 'Well I thought it would be common sense? Now my daughter isn't going to have any kind of celebration for her birthday this year because you and you husband are so selfish'.

She then stormed out of the kitchen, made a huge scene at the party outside yelling to her husband and my niece that it's time to go and left. Since then she's been messaging me and my husband nonstop trying to make us feel guilty that my niece isn't going to have a birthday party, and calling us all kinds of names.

I feel bad that my niece isn't going to get a birthday party. AITA for not including her even though they can't afford it?

People were thrown by the OP's story. Some tried to comfort her, others had harsh words for her SIL:


NTA. First of all it’s simply not your job to make sure your niece has a party. That’s up to her parents. If things are tight maybe they need to be creative but it’s still on them.

Secondly, it’s ridiculous for her to think that hinting around will get her daughter added to the party. If it was as important to her as she acts like it is then she should have had a frank conversation with you and simply asked. You could have still said no but their wouldn’t have been the confusion. This is on them, not you.

The OP responded here:


NTA. While your niece deserves to feel celebrated and loved, it's not your responsibility to foot the bill for her party.

Having a shared birthday was fine when they were younger, but given your SIL never chipped in to those, you made the decision to stop doing them, and that was your right as a parent. That doesnt give SIL the right to be entitled to your daughter's cake or party.

Maybe if she didn't rely on you every year to do everything for her daughter's birthday, then she would've been more prepared and her daughter would've had the birthday SIL so desperately wants.


Tell your sister and her husband to get better damn jobs, so they don’t have to rely on other people to do right by their kid


This is what I was saying to her. If she asked I probably would've said yes, or included my niece in some way. But she didn't even ask me she just assume.


NTA. But I'm very confused. How much money can you possibly invest in an 8yo birthday party? Most of my kid's birthdays have been at the park with a self-made chocolate cake, some sweets, a fruit salad, a treasure hunt and some balloons.

If you want a cool location or a VIP experience or whatever you can spend more obviously but that's completely optional. Children at that age mostly want to have fun with their friends and blow their candles.


NTA. The dollar store sells party decorations.


NTA. It’s not your responsibility to host a party for your niece because her parents “can’t afford” to. Plus the fact that your SIL expected you to ‘include’ your niece then called you selfish of throwing YOUR OWN DAUGHTER her birthday party. Your SIL is a joke.

ETA: it’s not your fault they apparently couldn’t money manage enough to throw their daughter her own separate birthday party. You can feel bad, but it’s their own fault and trying to blame you is childish. They don’t seem like very responsible people.

What would you tell this mom? Or her niece and SIL? Is there some type of compromise or reconsilation that could be made?

Sources: Reddit
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